1m Likes, 2,917 Comments – Nina Dobrev (@nina) on Instagram: “New year, new feels, new chances. 2018, you were good to me…2019, can’t wait to see what you have…”
906.7k Likes, 6,593 Comments – Nina Dobrev (@nina) on Instagram: “Counting down the minutes until Thursday. Gotta pass the time somehow ??♀️? @famcbs”
TV Review: Nina Dobrev in CBS’ ‘Fam’
“Fam” — so named because, as per this CBS version of a 16 year-old, “no one says ‘family’ anymore” — doesn’t push much harder to find new angles beyond its setup. Clem and Jay are perfectly nice, vaguely dorky surrogate parents; Shannon makes countless jokes about smoking weed while stomping around in combat boots, as TV’s rebellious teens have for years. Every so often, Clem alludes to the fact that she, too, was a scowling teen who thought drugs and acting out were the answers to her bad family life. Those moments, when she can push back against Shannon by virtue of knowing her next moves better than Shannon herself, are by far the show’s least derivative.
As Jay’s bourgeois parents, the eminently capable Brian Stokes Mitchell and Sheryl Lee Ralph unfortunately don’t have much to do beyond make fond jokes around the margins. But they still do it well enough that it’s disappointing when Dobrev and Bell, enthusiastic though they are, can’t quite match them.
And that’s about the vibe for “Fam,” overall. In the early outset, the show feels like it cobbled together pieces of other shows — especially The WB’s “What I Like About You” — to become its own perfectly pleasant sitcom Frankenstein. Even when it doesn’t do much to distinguish itself, it’s just fine, and maybe that’s enough.
Comedy, 30 mins. Premieres Thursday, Jan. 10 at 9:30 pm EST.
Crew: Executive producers: Corinne Kingsbury, Aaron Kaplan, Wendi Trilling, Dana Honor.
“It’s very different. They’re so different. The live audience aspect is one big one, the fact that it’s a straight comedy, the fact that it’s a lot broader, you have to be bigger on sitcoms. You have to enunciate and project for the people in the audience,” Dobrev explained. “It’s kind of like doing a mini play every single week and you get a new script every week that you have to memorize, and they change the lines every day up until—and ever during—the live taping. They’ll come in and whisper a new line in your ear and you have to test it out in front of the audience for the first time.”
Talk about a lot of pressure! “It is, but it also makes it fun and keeps you on your toes. You have to, sort of, be very sharp and focused. You can’t really slack off in those environments, which is good, it’s…a cancer for complacency,” she said.
“Because it’s live, so if you make a mistake people see it and I don’t like making mistakes in front of people,” she told E! News’ Erin Lim.
“They’ve definitely had my back and helped me out a lot, as I am a baby in this world,” she said.
Click play on the video above to hear more, including about when her Vampire Diaries costar surprised her in the audience of Fam.
Fam premieres Thursday, Jan. 10 at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.